Lessons learned

Developing a computer training program such as the one described in this chapter is very complex. There are a variety of "actors" involved that affect how such a training program takes place. After conducting our intervention, we learned several lessons that we believe will help others who may wish to implement similar programs in CCRCs.

• Buy-in from the CCRCs is critical to effectively implementing a program.

  • • Engaged activity directors help to ensure the success of the program because they may have more frequent interaction with the participants and can encourage their continued participation.
  • • Technology tailored to the participants is important for helping to ensure their success in the training (e.g., having assistive devices when needed).
  • • Adequate space and resources are critical to the success of the training.
  • • Helping residents see how learning to use the technology can positively impact their lives is critical to helping them cross the digital divide and learn to effectively use the technology tools.
  • • Keeping participants engaged is critical to ensuring that they will continue in the program. Helping them see their progression will also help them stay engaged.
  • • Repetition is important so that older adults have opportunities to practice the skills they are learning. Scaffolding is also important, as they learn to build upon earlier skills they have acquired in the training in order to progress to more advanced activities.
  • • Having a training manual that corresponds to what they learn in the training and that simplifies training activities helps to reinforce what they are learning.

Whereas this chapter has focused on our specific training intervention project, the next chapter details complexities and best practices for implementing training programs such as this one in CCRCs. Additional literature is included, as well as a list of summary guidelines for those interested in conducting such training programs in CCRCs.

Recommended readings

Czaja, S. J. and Sharit, J. 2013. Designing training and instructional programs for older adults. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press.

Fisk, A. D., Rogers, W. A., Charness, N., Czaja, S. J., and Sharit, J. 2009. Designing for older adults: Principles and creative human factors approaches (2nd ed.). Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press.

Rogers, W. A. and Fisk, A. D. 2010. Toward a psychological science of advanced technology design for older adults. The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 65B(6), 645-653. http://doi. org/10.1093/geronb/gbq065

 
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